The Department of Finance has signed a five-year contract with SAP Australia to replace its six-year-old Central Budget Management System (CBMS).
The $24.4 million contract was signed on 24 March 2011, following a comprehensive proof-of-concept exercise last December that focused on integration and data flows within Finance's budget estimates activities.
The deal was reported by Intermedium last week.
According draft tender documents issued last July, the Department sought Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) software that met at least 80 percent of the Federal Government's budget and financial management needs out of the box.
The CBMS was expected to be capable of collection and maintenance of agency and whole-of-Government budget estimates; management and tracking of cash; recording Government decisions; and reporting to Government and the public on the use and collection of funds.
The current system supported around 1,200 users and performed more than 1.5 million transactions involving a total of 177 GB of data during the last budget period.
Project director Tim Youngberry told industry representatives last October that the system would manage appropriations and cash management for all Commonwealth agencies.
“One of the things that we’re very focused on in this project is making core functionality the priority," he said. "[It is the] Central Budget System for the government, and making sure that it meets those needs and meets those needs effectively is one of the most important principles that we have."
“Second is having a single authoritative source of data," he said. "That crosses across all aspects; budget, appropriations and cash management, and ex-post reporting. To help us achieve that, one of the other items in there is having a consistent data set.”
Youngberry noted that the CBMS was "not about centralising financial mangement for the Commonwealth"; rather, agencies would retain responsibility for their own financial management, estimates and reporting, and the system would offer a common interface for transferring data to Finance.
The project was funded by the Gershon reinvestment fund -- despite the Government's decision to withdraw the fund last August.